Thursday, April 2, 2009

Here's why politics stink: Biden takes credit for new fire station being built by Bush administration

In an effort to sell the Obama administration's stimulus plan as immediately helping Americans, Vice President Joe Biden went to a rural North Carolina town and tried to take credit for a fire station being built with Bush administration money.

That's really sad and typically political. Both political parties stink and betray. And the Obama administration is a tad desperate to show it is doing something as numbers released today for continuing jobless claims reached a record high.

McClatchy Newspapers report in this excerpt:

PIKEVILLE, N.C. — Vice President Joe Biden brought a clear message to this tiny Eastern North Carolina town Wednesday: The federal recovery money isn't just for big banks and auto companies.

Biden and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced a new wave of $10.4 billion in federal stimulus money for home loans across the country, and billions more for essential services in rural communities such as Pikeville, which is getting money for a new fire station. Biden used the outdated, current station as a backdrop. Pikeville is just north of Goldsboro in Wayne County.

"We're investing in places like this all across the country," Biden said, "to demonstrate the vital role towns like this play in the recovery."

Most of the money for the station that was announced Wednesday, however, had been secured last year under the Bush administration, according to fire department officials.

State Sen. David Rouzer, a Republican who represents Pikeville and worked in the Agriculture Department under President Bush, said he helped secure the fire department money last year out of the federal agency's regular programs.

"They're coming in and cherry picking the best projects and switching out the money, saying it's stimulus money," Rouzer said. "But it was already approved and in the pipeline. It's totally disingenuous to come down here and say this is stimulus money, when regardless of whether a stimulus bill passed, they were getting the money."

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